Participants at Turning Commitment into Action session
Participants at Turning Commitment into Action session

Turning Commitment into Action

Turning Commitment into Action (TCA) for arts and cultural organizations is a free racial equity learning cohort designed to give organizations of all kinds and sizes the tools they need to turn their commitments to racial equity - both within their organizations and in partnership with the community - into institutional and structural change.

While many organizations and institutions have diversity and inclusion initiatives, fewer are explicitly working to address institutional and structural racism. TCA participants learn how to move beyond diversity, inclusion and equality models to enact and communicate a pointed focus on racial equity. TCA teaches groups why, in working to achieve the best possible outcomes for all people, we center race as we lead, name and frame with a racial equity lens.

Information
Kathy Hsieh
Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager
Kathy Hsieh
Information
Diana Falchuk
Manager of Arts & Racial Equity 
Diana Falchuk
Cohort Participants

In 2015 -16, a total of 30 arts and cultural organizations participated in three TCA cohorts. Each TCA cohort consisted of two intensive, ten-hour training days and spanned six sessions. Individual participants and organizational teams were assigned homework between sessions. Staff from ARTS and the Office for Civil Rights provided coaching and technical assistance throughout, and consultants co-facilitated training sessions.

Organizations were asked to send three representatives from different areas of the agency (e.g. human resources, education, artistic production, board, etc.) including at least one organizational decision-maker in a leadership position with the authority to implement changes and hold all areas of the organization accountable (e.g. an executive director, managing director or deputy director).

2015-16 list of cohort participants

TCA Curriculum Overview

Each TCA cohort is designed to:

  • build the capacity of participating organizations through collaborative learning activities, hands-on training sessions, technical assistance and coaching;
  • provide specialized tools and resources to address institutional and structural racism within and across organizations, and in the community;
  • provide organizations with the tools to conduct a racial equity assessment of their organization;
  • develop and support the implementation of a racial equity plan for each participating organization.
TCA Objectives
  • Examine how race is socially constructed.
  • Discuss manifestations and patterns of institutional and structural racism facing artists, arts and culture administrators, funders, arts educators, cultural organizers, audience/participants and communities - both those working within the arts and cultural sector and those using arts and culture to support transformation in other areas (e.g. housing, criminal justice, transportation, education).
  • Identify perceived and real barriers to racial equity in arts and cultural organizations and the sector as a whole.
  • Understand your own and others' social identities and social positions, and why we approach equity through the lens of race to achieve structural transformation.
  • Explore how we can create the change needed to build racial equity. What does it mean to be a change advocate? What does it take for groups/institutions to change and/or to sustain racial equity as their core work? How can we work structurally, across organizations and sectors, to achieve racially equity? How are the roles of people of color different from the roles of white people in creating structural change?
  • Articulate a clear, compelling story for your group's evolution that you can share with stakeholders, including co-workers and others connected with your group.
  • Use an assessment tool to understand the steps your group must take to address race-based disparities and build racial equity.
  • Learn from local leaders who have led and participated in racial equity change processes: What worked? What didn't? What were the most important lessons learned? How are the challenges facing advocates of color different from those of white advocates?
  • Incorporate what you've learned to outline your plan to build racial equity.
  • Receive feedback and coaching from facilitators and City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) staff, and peer support on plan implementation - successes and failures forward.
  • Practice applying racial equity tools and learn about additional resources for ongoing support.
  • Share and examine best practices such as calls for artists, racialized content in artistic productions and leveraging arts-based strategies for community change.
  • Workshop strategies and tactics for overcoming institutional and structural barriers as part of each organization's racial equity plan development. 
Grants for Organizations
Arts in Parks Program
Increasing arts and community events in parks throughout the city by investing in the vibrant cultural work being done in and by diverse communities throughout Seattle.
Civic Partners grant
Awarding two-year grants to Seattle arts and cultural organizations and investing in the broad cultural community, helping organizations make a rich variety of arts, heritage and culture opportunities accessible to Seattle residents and visitors.1/1/2016
Cultural Facilities Fund
Awarding grants to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with facility renovation like ADA access or new facility projects.
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
Neighborhood & Community Arts grant
Supporting Seattle's neighborhood arts councils and community groups that produce events to promote arts and cultural participation and build community.
smART ventures grant
Encouraging innovation and widening cultural participation, particularly by individuals, organizations and communities that may not qualify for other grant programs. Accepting applications year-round, smART ventures is flexible, inclusive and simple.
Work Readiness Arts Program grant
This grant in collaboration with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI), funded arts, cultural and community organizations providing programming that linked arts learning and work experiences for Seattle youth ages 12 to 18 years old. This program will not have an open application cycle in 2017.
Youth Arts grant
Making a difference in the lives of Seattle middle and high school youth by providing arts education beyond the regular school day in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Get email updates